PhD in Social Anthropology, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität-Münster (University of Münster), Germany.
      Post-doctoral Fellow, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences


      Dr Joseba Estévez is a social anthropologist working as Post-doctoral Fellow at the “Asian Religious Connections” cluster, Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS), The University of Hong Hong. He defended his PhD thesis Conquering Demons, Taming the Forest: The ritual roles of the Lanten Priests and Masters at the Institute of Ethnology of the University of Münster, Germany. His regional specialisation is mainland South-East Asia, where he conducted long-term social anthropological fieldwork from 2010 to2020 on the roles of the Lanten (Yao Mun) rituals experts in Luang Namtha Province, Laos.

      His research interests include ritual, cosmology, exchange, social morphology and social transformation, the comparison of ideologies, animism, Buddhism, Chinese religion and Daoism.

      He is the initiator and director of the projects “A Digital Library of the Lanten Textual Heritage”, funded by the British Library's Endangered Archive Programme (2015 – 2020), and “The Lanten Oral Stories”, funded by BEQUAL-Laos, the European Union and Australian Aid (2017 – 2020). He has co-produced (with Creative Seven Arts) two anthropological films about the Lanten society in Laos directed by Peter Livermore.

      Currently, he leads the YAO DAO Project and is part of the academic endeavour Global China Local Cultures (a new phase of BRINFAITH) of the Asian Religious Connections cluster of the HKIHSS.

      In addition, in cooperation with the University of Hamburg, he participates in the Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Written Artefacts” (2019-2025) with the Lanten case. In cooperation with the National University of Singapore, within the framework “Singapore Smart City and ASEAN Smart City Network” (2023-2025), he is studying the Smart Cities in Nateuy and Namor in North Laos, promoted by the Thai-Japanese AMATA Group, and the Songkhla-Chana Smart City project in South Thailand. Another cooperation with The Shanghai New York University (project leader with Adele Maria Carrai) is developing an atlas of the Chinese “One Belt One Road Initiative” and the impact of Global China, focusing on mapping and generating data visualisations by combining data mining and infographics.


      Room 112, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong
      Tel: (852) 3917-8112
      Fax: (852) 2559-6143


      Conquering Demons, Taming the Forest: The ritual roles of the Lanten Priests and Masters. PhD thesis in social anthropology under the supervision of Josephus Platenkamp. Münster: The University of Münster, (in press) 2024.

      “On the Lanten Methods to Fetch the Hon or Living Force of the Original Rice”, in David Holm (ed.) Vernacular Character Manuscripts and Scripts from East and Southeast Asia. Berlin: de Gruyter, (in press) 2024.

      “The Lanten (Yao Mun) Manuscripts: Intergenerational Ritual Transmission and the Dynamics of Knowledge Reproduction Amongst the Lanten of Laos”, in Manuscripts Cultures Issue N° 20. Hamburg: Universität Hamburg, (in press) 2024

      (with Palmer, David A.) “Ritual, war, opium: Infrastructural sedimentations in the ethnography of the Mun (Lanten Yao) of Laos”, in Proceedings of the BRINFAITH Workshop on The Sacred Dimensions of the BRI’s Infrastructural Commons. Special Issue in Modern Asia Studies (MAS), (in press) 2024.

      老撾藍靛瑤文庫:探討文本收集、編目、分類和評估的方法與相關問題∗郭慧雯、周思博 (Joseba Estévez)、安蔚、孫嘉玥、宗樹人(David A. Palmer). 華人宗教研究 第十九期 2022 年 1 月 頁 1~56 The Lanten Yao Library in Laos: Exploring the Methods and Related Issues of the Text Collection, Cataloguing, Classification and Evaluation, by Guo Huiwen, Zhou Sibo (Joseba Estévez), An Wei, Sun Jiayue, Zong Shuren (David A. Palmer), special Issue, Chinese Religious Studies, 2022.

      藍靛瑤手抄本:儀式知識傳承中的法器, 周思博 (Joseba Estévez). 華人宗教研究 第十九期 2022 年 1 月 頁 1~56 (The Manuscripts of the Lanten Yao: Ritual objects in the production and transmission of ritual knowledge), special Issue, Chinese Religious Studies, 2022.

      (with Yangnouvong, Khantamaly, eds.) The Lanten Stories [13 volumes]. Vientiane: Phankam Jampa, 2020.

      “On Becoming a Ritual Expert among the Lanten (Yao Mun) of Laos”, in Jos Platenkamp and Almut Schneider (eds.) Integrating Strangers in Society: Perspectives from Elsewhere. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

      “Learning Shamanistic Healing among the Lanten (Yao Mun) of Laos”, in Global Modernities and the (Re-)Emergence of Ghosts, special issue in Voices From Around the World. Köln: Global South Studies Center Cologne, Universität Köln, 2016.

      “Healing Rituals and Sorcery among the Lanten (Yao Mun) of Laos”, in Laila Prager, Michael Prager, and Guido Sprenger (eds) Parts and Wholes: Essays on Social Morphology, Cosmology, and Exchange in Honour of J.D.M. Platenkamp. Münster: Lit Verlag, 2016.